Yesterday, we went to see Coraline. I was very excited about seeing this because:
1. I love Neil Gaiman, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book it was based off of.
2. It's stop motion animation, from the same director of Nightmare Before Christmas
3. Looks amazing.
And I would say that, yes, overall it met all my expectations and was stunning to look at. I don't think that it HAS to be seen in 3-D, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it just as much in 2-D. I also loved that Coraline has blue hair. It was a small touch that I found charming.
BUT (there's always a 'but'), a very important element of the story was changed, and left me disgruntled at the end of the film. While the book is based on Neil Gaiman's book, the story was written for the screen by director, Henry Selick. In the film, a character by the name of Wybie is introduced into the narrative, even tho he does not exist at all in the book. I was okay with this, Coraline thinks mostly internally in the book, and this character allows her to interact and bring across her character. Because we all know, internal monologues in films can be VERY boring. So Wybie didn't really bother me....until the last few moment of the film.
I will carefully try not to give too much away, but in the book Coraline "saves the day" by her own careful planning and ingenuity. In the film, Wybie rushes in at the end to save the day. Which to me, only perpetuates to little girls that a boy will always be there to solve the problem, save them from danger, etc. I hate to push that sort of feminist rhetoric on what is otherwise a charming children's film, but I hate that they took away such a wonderful, positive ending; and instead put a "safe", "old-fashioned" ending on it.
Otherwise, I would say, go see it. It's a fantastic film and I was secretly hoping that one day I have a little girl as imaginative and brave as little Coraline.